THOMAS HARRIOT COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES | RELIGIOUS STUDIES PROGRAM
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Calvin Mercer, PhD,   Religious Studies Program



For more information, please contact:

Dr. Calvin Mercer, Director
Religious Studies Program
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858 USA
252.328.4310 (office and voice mail)
252-328-6301 (fax)
mercerc@ecu.edu

[Religious Studies Program]
[The Monastic Project]
[Speaking Engagements]
[Study Abroad]







Dr. Mercer teaches religious studies at East Carolina University, where he directs the Religious Studies Program. Most of his research (6 books authored or edited, 25 articles) is in religion and culture and biblical studies, with his emphasis in the past decade on the religious and social implications of human enhancement technology. Dr. Mercer's main speaking engagements include public lectures on (1) fundamentalism and (2) the religious implications of radical life extension and other human enhancements. Recent projects include the following. culture. His current projects include the following.

HUMAN ENHANCEMENT TECHNOLOGY - LIVING FOR 1,000 YEARS. How would you like to live for 1,000 years - or longer? Dr. Mercer is one of the few scholars considering the religious and social implications of mental, emotional, and physical enhancements, such as radical life extension, a term that refers to technology that could provide extreme (perhaps indefinite) longevity of healthy human life. His co-edited book, Religion and the Implications of Radical Life Extension, was published in 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan. Two co-edited books appearing in 2014 are The Body in Transhumanism: The World's Religions Speak (Palgrave MacMillan) and Religion and Transhumanism: The Unknown Future of Human Enhancement (Praeger). Dr. Mercer was a founding member and chair for six years of the American Academy of Religion "Transhumanism and Religion" Group. He co-edits, with Dr. Steve Fuller, Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors.

FUNDMENTALISM. Dr. Mercer is trained in clinical psychology and practiced professionally part-time for over a decade. He was known as the "go-to" therapist for clients where religion was a factor in their mental distress and/or behavioral dysfunction. In both his teaching and clinical practice, he has worked extensively with fundamentalists. He gives public lectures on this topic based on his book, Slaves to Faith: A Therapist Looks Inside the Fundamentalist Mind. With a foreword by Martin Marty, the book provides a novel - and controversial - psychological analysis of fundamentalism. Although the book is focused on Christian fundamentalism, the insights are valuable for understanding extreme religion in all traditions and especially so in our post 9/11 climate.

THE MONASTIC PROJECT. Dr. Mercer is the originator of The Monastic Project, a comprehensive program used by professors around the country that speaks to a deep yearning many people have for substantive religious experience that goes deeper, offers more, and requires more than either fundamentalism or the easy, quick, sensual froth offered up by much contemporary religion. The Monastic Project, with guidelines drawn from various monastic traditions, yields results transformative beyond religious experience, such as improved mental and physical health, clarification of life goals and purpose, improved relationships, increased awareness, and better sleep.

Dr. Mercer's speaking engagements include public lectures on fundamentalism, the religious implications of radical life extension science, and The Monastic Project.


 
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